Clean up efforts continue this morning after severe weather and thunderstorms battered Sydney and much of NSW last night. This came less than a day after huge electrical storms (around 13,000 lightning strikes!) hit Sydney on Monday.
A stunning lighting show lit up Sydney Harbour and the CBD before a large amount of rain fell in the eastern suburbs at around 7pm. The Bureau of Meteorology reported that 13mm of rain fell in Little Bay in the space of just half an hour. Sydney saw its highest wind speeds on the harbour, reaching 89km/h, and at Sydney Airport, reaching speeds of 91km/h.
Last night’s electrical storm caused damage to the power network and extensive power loss. Two lightning strikes on vital substations have been reported, and strong winds brought down trees and branches. It has been estimated that roughly 11,000 homes and businesses in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and parts of Sydney were without power. By 11pm last night, emergency crews from Endeavour Energy were able to restore power to all but 2,100 customers. According to the company, those remaining without power were due to have it restored by this morning.
Lightning Causes Damage and Delays
The State Emergency Services received a massive 385 requests state-wide for assistance during the storm. Most damage related to trees and fallen branches, and there were no major incidents. However, there will no doubt be many insurance claims as a result. Severe delays on NSW trains have been attributed in part to widespread storm damage, though ABC News reports that no refunds will be given to commuters.
Hopefully this storm will mark a brief respite from the recent heat we’ve been experiencing lately. It follows right on the heels of record temperatures on Sunday, where Penrith saw a high of 47.3 degrees Celsius.
Words by Isabelle Laker